So, as we all know, anime has a way of influencing us from time to time, and I am no exception to this. So after watching Wotakoi, Kiss Him Not Me, and No-Rin, which all feature characters that are obsessed with boy love, I decided to give some boy-love anime a try to see what was so great about it.

Narumi

This journey began by accident, honestly. I watched Wotakoi on Amazon Prime Video and one of the suggestions was Hitorijime My Hero. I clicked on it and it had a pretty interesting description. Add to it Narumi’s obsession and there I was — watching my first boy-love anime. This binge review is all about my experience with that, so if you’re not into boys loving boys, feel free to skip this one.

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IRA Podcast Special | Wotakoi with WeeaBroDerek


This is a special episode of the I’d Rather Anime Podcast! We teamed up with WeeaBroDerek to talk about Wotakoi in our first ever podcast collaboration. Click on the play button above to start the podcast! Or if you prefer, you can find us wherever you listen to podcasts, just click here to add us to your favorite app! You could do other things, but we know you’d rather anime with us!

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Wotakoi | 11 Episodes | SUB | Amazon Prime Video

Cover
Final Verdict: This was unbelievably cute and accurate to adult relationships and hit all the right notes for a love story.

This anime is all about Narumi and Hirotaka who are, at their core, cute and utterly perfect for each other. They are childhood friends who are all grown up now. Both of them are otaku, although, Hirotaka is into games and Narumi is into anime and manga – specifically of the yaoi variety. They run into each other at work after Narumi changes jobs and things sort of take off from there.

There are so many good things that I enjoyed about this anime. I love that the anime is about them navigating dating instead of falling in love. They’re both otaku, and while Narumi has had boyfriends in the past, they were always normal guys so she hid her otaku nature. This makes dating Hirotaka different, because he already knows she’s an otaku and accepts that part of her which is nice to see. I also thought it was a nice touch, that Hirotaka has wanted to date Narumi since they were younger.

I also really enjoyed that they didn’t become awkward and actually acted like adults who had known each other their entire life. I’ve never had a childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest relationship before, but this is what I imagine it would be like. They’re extremely comfortable with each other and talk about how they were growing up together and how they’ve changed. They also know each other better than anyone else. Of course, there are awkward and blushing moments, because they’re dating, but the core of their relationship is their friendship.

There was so much about this that I loved, I could really go on forever probably. I loved that they were working people with normal jobs, that they didn’t want to hugely expose their otaku nature, that they made friends who were otaku as well and hung out, that there was often a comparison between their relationship and their friends. It was just so much goodness wrapped up into one show.

Otaku

I also really loved Hirotaka as a main character. It probably helped, that as far as romance anime guys go, I thought Hirotaka was one of the most attractive I’ve seen, personality wise. It’s purely subjective, but he’s cool, calm, and nerdy on the outside, but still pretty much a goofy person on the inside. That combination really appeals to me. I also liked that he wanted to date Narumi from the beginning and wasn’t afraid to speak up about it — and that he wasn’t afraid to kiss her after they started dating. In a lot of anime, the otaku / nerdy guy is usually too shy or absorbed with his games / anime to do anything, but I like that even though he’s a nerd, he’s still a man. I think they got that part of his character right.

As much as I loved this, there were times when I thought it wasn’t perfect. My biggest dislike was the fact that Narumi often treated Hirotaka as less than her boyfriend. She found it weird that other women found him attractive and found it hard to wrap her mind around doing “girlfriend” things for him. That was the only thing that kind of irritated me with watching this, but it does tie into the whole childhood-friend-turned-romantic-interest thing. She’s known him as Hirotaka “The Otaku Friend” all her life and so it’s hard for her to switch him to Hirtoaka “The Hot Boyfriend” which, to some degree is understandable.

Overall, there is so much to love about this anime that I didn’t even touch on, such as their friends relationship — which I think is done incredibly well too. Their friends romance touches on insecurities, hot-n-cold love, compromises, fights, and a comfortable kind of love that I think is more well-rounded in some ways. This anime is 1000% worth a watch if you like romance anime. It kind of reminds me of MMO Junkie. I really enjoyed that one too, but this one takes on the approach of knowing the person on the other side of the screen before you play with a lot less social awkwardness. I’m not sure where else you can watch it other than Amazon Prime Video, but if you can find it, watch it. It’s definitely worth every second of your time.

Group Picture


The Otaku Couple